Saturday, April 16, 2011

Time Well Spent

One of the things I didn't like about my first job out of university was that I didn't have a consistent enough schedule to allow me to spend any consistent amount of time volunteering.

Habitat for Humanity
Now I have tonnes of it.

There are numerous reasons to volunteer your time when you're employed, but during unemployment volunteering is absolutely invaluable. Not only are you helping others in need, you're also helping yourself. Some of the benefits of volunteering during unemployment include:

  • Social contact, which can help prevent depression after having been let go,
  • Networking with others who may potentially know about job openings,
  • Increasing and learning new skill sets which could be used to find new employment,
  • Maintaining good work habits (if you treat it like a job and show up regularly),
  • Getting rid of that gap in your resume between employers,
  • Your initiative will make you stand out from the crowd during interviews,
  • Removing the feeling of helplessness as you help others,
  • Giving you a feeling of purpose

It also allows you to get your tithing in if you can't afford monetary contributions. Time is money.

I had mentioned to a concerned friend on Wednesday that I was planning on doing more volunteer work while I looked for a new job. Thursday morning she saw a link in her RSS feed about the 1st Annual Edmonton Volunteer Fair.

How well timed was that?

So, today I'll be making my way down there and checking out the smorgasbord of volunteer opportunities in town. I'm also going to be going down to my local professional association's office to see about volunteer opportunities there. May as well be visible while I'm on the hunt.

What do you volunteer for?

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